‘Hello!’ from the interns at the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT)! We can’t believe that we are more than halfway done and are continuously amazed at how much we learned in just ten days of interning. We have worked on trails, helped out with a children’s summer education program, run an informational booth at the annual Folk and Art Festival, worked collaborated with a forester from Orion Timberland, Inc. to monitor sections of the Community Forest, and done assessments of possible culvert sites and fish passage barrier removals.
During our first three days, we did maintenance on over ten miles of recreational hiking trails that extend throughout DLLT’s nearly 33,700 acres of land.
On our first weekend in town, Grand Lake Stream hosted their largest and most popular annual event: The Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival. The festival draws local and statewide artists alike to Grand Lake Stream to sell their work. Working at the DLLT’s booth at the festival, Fiona and I had the pleasure of meeting many of the land trust donors while interacting with both locals and visitors from further afield. We discussed the land trust’s ongoing project to set aside nearly 22,000 acres on West Grand Lake for sustainable forestry, habitat restoration and public recreation.
The second week, we began work with Kyle Burdick, a forester from Orion Timberland, who works with DLLT to manage sustainable timber harvests on the Community Forest lands. He took us out into the thick of the woods where we took a close look at late successional forest stands. Trudging through uncut forest was quite the adventure! We also got a chance to take kids from DLLT’s summer outdoor outreach program, Explorations and Adventures, out to hike the Pocumcus Lake Trail. We identified plants and animal tracks while we stayed alert to the exciting sounds, colors and smells of the woods.
In the final weeks of our internship we look forward to participating in the installation of arched culverts at road crossings and continuing to coordinate aquatic restoration projects in the Community Forest. We have already learned so much about DLLT’s extraordinary conservation efforts as well as Grand Lake Stream’s rich history. We are excited to find what new and interesting experiences the next few weeks will bring!
– Fiona Dearth and Katherine Pierce